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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Club baseball goes 2-1 in L.A.

    Smashed between two eight-hour bus rides in a 36-hour span, the Arizona club baseball team earned a series win against USC in three games in Los Angeles this weekend.

    “”Anytime you go on the road and take two out of three, you’ve got to be happy with that,”” said UA head coach Shane Folsom. “”We would’ve loved to get the sweep, but the way it was, travel-situation wise … I’m happy with coming out of there at 2-1.””

    After arriving in L.A. Friday evening for a 8 o’clock start time, the Wildcats dropped USC 4-3 in an 11-inning affair that showcased Arizona’s young arms.

    Freshman Chris Tonner started the game and provided five innings of shut-out baseball before making way for a trio of freshmen. Drew Freeman, Troy Nielsen and Jimmy Westling combined to pitch the final six frames and give the Wildcats their first win on the season.

    Because the game provided the fans with some bonus baseball, Arizona didn’t check into the team hotel until roughly 1 a.m. and had the first game of Saturday’s double-header scheduled to start just 10 hours later.

    That didn’t stop the Wildcats from winning that contest either, as they topped the Trojans 3-1 with Westling again earning the win.

    “”The young guys stepped up big this weekend. … Jimmy Westling won two games and he came in a pretty tough situation,”” team captain Kevin Scott said of the freshman’s performance with the bases loaded and nobody out in the last inning of Friday night’s win. “”If he didn’t make perfect pitches, essentially, then we wouldn’t have won that first game. … so he really saved the weekend for us.””

    Arizona’s bats just couldn’t seem to come alive in crunch time over the weekend, Folsom said, and that was something of a surprise for a team who scored 25 runs in a single game last season. Part of that could be the hectic travel schedule, but perhaps some of it could be attributed to early-season rust as well.

    “”I really was hoping we’d score some more runs. We had opportunities to come up with a big hit but you’ve got to give USC credit,”” Folsom said. “”They’re improved a lot (since) last fall. They’ve got some good players.””

    But regardless of leaving L.A. without a perfect record, the UA has much to be proud of after the series win over USC. Once the Wildcats’ hitters start to find their stride, this team could put together a season even better than last year’s seventh-place finish.

    “”(USC) made two mistakes all weekend and they were a good squad. They had some really good hitters … and they had a lot of lefties which I think kind of threw us off,”” Scott said. “”… We kind of struggle with (lefties) a little bit, I know I did. … We had to earn it and that last game we just couldn’t get the big hit. Overall we played well, just not good enough to win three on the road.””

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